A Safer Way to Milk a Scorpion


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As a kid, Mouad Mkamel played with pet snakes, vipers and scorpions. As a Ph.D. tyro during University King Hassan II of Casablanca, Mkamel is now tact scorpions and milking their venom regulating a drudge he designed.

At $7,000 to $8,000 per gram, scorpion venom is one of a many costly liquids in a world. Mkamel believes scorpion venom has a intensity to “create a new era of medicine,” estimating that there are about 5 million spontaneous compounds in venoms that might be useful for drug development. Mkamel says a “cocktail of bioactive compounds” in venoms might be useful to quarrel cancer, malaria, basin or to rise new painkillers.

For his study, Mkamel bred 1,300 scorpions of 4 species: A. mauritanicus, B. Occitanus, H. Franzwerneri, and S. Maurus. Then, he designed a complement with opposite modes that optimize venom descent for any species.

Supply, says Mkamel, is mostly a tying means in venom research. Even if a scientist manages to constraint a specific class of scorpion whose venom they’re meddlesome in studying, required descent methods are vapid and dangerous — a minute volume of scorpion venom can means heated pain, neurological repairs or even death.


During extraction, voltage is practical opposite a scorpion’s body, and a vibrated arachnid releases a few drops of venom, that conventionally would be collected by hand. His complement increases reserve (for both scientist and scorpion), speed and usability by behaving a electric kick and venom collection all on house a robot, that is compress adequate to be used in a margin and laboratory.

Mkamel says that while caring for so many scorpions was a tough task, as a biologist his biggest plea was training a wiring and programming required to finish a project.

When it comes to formulating anti-venoms, a plan is personal: Anti-venoms don’t exist for a scorpions that live in Mkamel’s home country, Morocco. He would like to assistance fill this gap.

“Each nation has special venom…so any nation contingency furnish anti-venom. The problem is a supervision doesn’t wish to furnish it for a moment, for different reasons,” Mkamel says.

Mkamel’s scorpion-milking drudge is simply a prototype, and he skeleton to make new versions of a device with sensors and other upgrades that will make a device easier to use. He thinks he could start looking during rattlesnake venom soon, if usually he could find some help. Most of a Ph.D. students, he says, are too fearful to work with his scorpions.

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Posted by on Jul 7 2017. Filed under Living World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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